In our new Working Paper published with the Paris Human Rights Center, Professor Olivier de Frouville shares his own views on the work of United Nations (UN) treaty bodies (TBs) during the period running from March to December 2020.
In the 20 pages of The United Nations Treaty Bodies in a Transition Period – Progress Review, he analyses the work of UN TBs at a critical moment: during this pivotal year, UN TBs had to adapt their work to the COVID-19 pandemic and start implementing at the same time the recommendations emanating from the 2020 review process.
‘Professor de Frouville has worked for more than twenty years as an expert in the UN human right system and knows this environment extremely well. As a current member of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, he was at the forefront of UN TBs work during 2020’ explains Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.
‘This working paper will therefore be an important source of information and inspiration for those – inside and outside the TB system – who are implementing the recommendations of the 2020 TB review process’ he adds.
UN Photo/Violaine Martin
UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré
De Frouville shows in this paper how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the functioning of the TB system and how UN TBs adapted both procedurally and substantially to the situation.
‘The coincidence of the 2020 review and the pressure to move TB sessions online due to the COVID-19 created real-life examples of what the 2020 review outcome calls the digital shift in TB work. It therefore allowed to draw lessons on the opportunities but also limitations of online meetings. This experience is therefore of crucial importance to assess some of the recommendations formulated in the review’ says Felix Kirchmeier.
UN Photo/Laura Jarriel>
The 2020 Review is the most recent effort to strengthen the UN human rights TB system, building upon efforts underway for over 30 years.
This working paper details steps undertaken by different stakeholders – states, TB members, NGOs, academia and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – during this decisive year to implement the recommendations emanating from the review. The paper also includes a detailed account of the Geneva Human Rights Platform’s initiative on the review.
‘In relation to our initiative, it was particularly interesting to see how TBs and OHCHR shifted official dialogues with states and other TB activities online, and how they coordinated internally. The example of the inter-committee working group on COVID-19 is a positive development in terms of inter-committee coordination, which could also tackle further areas of general harmonization.
UN Photo by Violaine Martin
Our new Working Paper Towards Transversal Standards to Evaluate the Impact of UN Special Procedures discusses the impact of UN Special Procedures, reviews progress made to measure it, and proposes avenues to improve this assessment.
Dr Amna Nazir is a Lecturer in Law and Associate Director of the Centre for Human Rights at Birmingham City University. She also holds an Editorship at Harvard Law School’s Program in Islamic Law. She just started as Visiting Fellow at the Geneva Academy, working remotely from Birmingham, and will stay with us until the end of March 2021.
The 2021 Annual Conference will discuss the connectivity between national human rights actors and the Geneva-based international mechanisms.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, will provide participants with an introduction to substantive human rights law. It will start with an introduction to the nature and sources of international human rights law and its place in the international legal system. The course will then provide a presentation of the main principles applicable to substantive rights (jurisdiction, obligation and limitations).
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.
We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.
The Geneva Human Rights Platform collaborates with a series of actors to reflect on the implementation of international human rights norms at the local level and propose solutions to improve uptake of recommendations and decisions taken by Geneva-based human rights bodies at the local level.
UN PHOTO /Jean Marc Ferre